Nonsensical Drought Restrictions

Hello dear reader(s)!

Do you live in an area that is currently experiencing drought?  Have you lived in an area that experienced drought?  Do you know what drought means outside of referring to a sports team’s failure to win in a while?  Have you ever dreamed of opening up your own drought business?  Would you like to know how you can profit from the drought crisis?  Do you often look for ways to make money off the suffering of others?

If you answered yes, yes, yes, no, no, and no, then this post is for you.

If you answered yes to the last two, you should probably do humanity a favor and end it all right now.

But enough with the pleasantries (because encouraging people to kill themselves is so pleasant) and on with the show!

As you may or may not know, I live in an area in the grips of a years’ long, extreme drought situation.  The water supplies for the area are dangerously low and experts in the field are warning that the situation (and forgive me as I use their technical jargon) sucks ass.

To combat this situation our Water Authority (a profitable business selling the people’s water back to them) has decided to take measures in a show of restricting wasted water so that they may charge more, claiming it as a deterrent to using more water, but actually just increasing their revenue.

Now, I understand that the sewers to take away, and infrastructure built and maintained to treat and deliver the water should be paid for; but I know that infrastructure existed in most areas prior to the set-up of this government subsidized for-profit business that was essentially gifted public property.  You see, before the creation of this “Water Authority” we did pay for the water…it was called taxes.

But, due to the conservative drive to privatize everything, a business was given the power to charge customers for water use, rather than just have everyone chipping in for the use of water.  It gained momentum during the last major drought that lasted 7 years.  On the surface, it sounds fair.  “Why should I pay more for Mr. X because that fucker is always wasting water, but I don’t even flush when I pee?  Charging by use will encourage people not to waste water!”

Seems great on the surface, but as with most things that seem good on the surface, (celebrities) one must look deeper into the ugliness within.

What is water waste?

Here where I live, we are restricted to watering our lawns to 3 days a week.  The Water Authority also uses sonar to drive by your house and listen for water leaks.  Violate these and you get a warning, then a staggering fine.  Does the fine go into the area’s general fund, or the water infrastructure?  No.  Does using sonar on people’s homes with no probable cause of a leak violate the spirit of the 4th Amendment?  You bet your ass.

Environmentalists began pushing a series of draconian water austerity measures including Xeriscaping, (taking out lawns and replacing them with rocks, a few desert trees, more rocks of a different color, and desert shrubs).  Low-flow toilets and shower heads are required on new home builds.  People are being encouraged not to flush their toilets as often.  My swamp cooler likely draws the ire of any environmentalist that has signed off.  But again I ask…

What is water waste?

Let’s look at the root cause of these droughts.  If you subscribe to the theory of climate change (as most environmentalists do, as well as 97% of climate scientists, and NASA), then you believe that carbon emissions are heating the atmosphere causing weather patterns to shift, disrupting regular seasonal cycles, melting ice caps, etc…  There is also the issue that too much ground water (even in states not currently in a drought, due to the proverbial drinking of one’s milkshake) is being sucked up.  And I buy into that.  So here is my question:  How are removing carbon scrubbing plants, in favor of rocks going to attack the cause?  Even if you don’t subscribe to climate change, you can surely know that standing over pavement or rocks, is going to be hotter than standing on a nice lawn.  This is why cities are generally hotter than country meadows.  I let my lawn die, and the temperature goes up.  Do that city-wide, and the whole city’s temperature goes up.  Do that area wide, and your entire microclimate’s temperature goes up.

What is water waste?

Additionally, it is not as if the water I use just disappears.  When I water my lawn, it goes into the grass and anything not absorbed by the carbon scrubbing grass evaporates or goes into the ground.  That is called ground water.  If water is no longer being put into the ground, but we continue to take it out of the ground for other uses, then our ground water supplies run out faster.

What is water waste?

When I flush my toilet, the water doesn’t disappear either.  It goes into a sewage treatment plant, where it is cleaned and treated, and put back into the sources.  Is all the water that goes in able to be extracted?  No, but it isn’t like people would have you believe, that every time you flush 5 gallons of water it is gone forever.

What is water waste?

The correct term for swamp cooler is Evaporative Cooler.  The water it uses soaks a foam (in my case) or straw pad.  Air is drawn through that wet pad and evaporates (hence the name) cooling the air as it rushes through my house and out the window.  Any moisture in left in that air evaporates again.  Evaporated water creates moisture in the atmosphere, which condenses, which produces clouds, which produce rain.

But does that mean water waste doesn’t exist?  No.

What is water waste?

Water waste is when formerly usable water is rendered unusable, and aside from a small percentage of sewer water; what our capitalism at all costs system is hiding, is that the primary way formerly usable water is rendered unusable…is industrial pollution.

While in California for example, only 8% of water use comes from industry, the way it is used is different.  Additionally, the gallons per person of an industrial city like Vernon with only 112 residents is 94,111 gallons of water per person per day, compared to Palm Springs, home of desert golf courses and lush lawns with 736 gallons per person per day.¹

And I assert that the way the water is being used defines waste, not the amount of water.  Vernon, likely wastes a large percentage of the 94,111 gallons of water per person per day, whereas Palm Springs mostly redistributes it.

Once fresh water is contaminated with too high of levels of certain pollutants, that water can’t be used again.

But please, let’s all continue to kill our lawns and trees, and make the temperature hotter in order to allow industry to continue to dump their shit in our lifeblood.


Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

18 thoughts on “Nonsensical Drought Restrictions”

  1. Not in a state that is under water restriction but our home in Florida has 275 gallon rain water reserve tank for watering the grass and an automatic timers to let water out to the lawn. For the most part it waters the lawn year round without wasting water. When it rains we adjust the timer so it doesn’t double water. 🙂

    Best thing we ever installed and we did it ourselves. My dad showed me how.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. we also have a timer to only water when legal, but it isn’t enough. The rainwater tank would be nice, and if I could afford the investment, I would install one. However, many cities are banning home rain water tanks, claiming it is stealing the people’s water, and the courts are upholding those rules. More nonsense.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly, the whole concept of water rights and paying for anything but the infrastructure, treatment, and maintenance of the means to treat, deliver, and carry away the water is a theft of resources from the people. Also, when you consider how much waste water we treat, verses developing nations that pump out babies at insane rates and do NOTHING to recover the water they use, my lawn and swamp cooler aren’t even a fraction of a drop in the fresh water reserves.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Pure idiocy, and what if you have a pool set up… and divert rainwater into it? It’s only considered “theft of resources” b/c the gov’t/ municipality/ officials couldn’t regulate free rainwater and get their cut. It’s all about MONEY and CONTROL.


      3. Exactly. It is a cash and resource grab from the people. As far as greywater recycling… it would be enough for regular house plants, and our roses, but not the lawn.


    1. Yeah, the water doesn’t go away, it just moves. That is weather, and we only have an influence over long term patterns. We can’t stop watering and expect the rains from Illinois to distribute themselves everywhere else.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We live fairly close to one another, so I relate to all this. I was also thinking about and fuming about these restrictions.

    We are a small household, comparatively, and so we will end up having to jump through all sorts of hoops just to keep the plants we love (and have cultivated over a decade and a half) alive while complying with a ridiculous precipitous law that is going to make Santa Clarita a desert again and have temperatures in the 100+ range for more and more of the year.

    We planted all of our garden areas for multiple reasons: it cools down our house and saves on our energy bill; it provides a habitat for desirable wildlife, especially pollinators; it scrubs the air; it provides shade so I can sit outside without being burned; it adds to curb appeal; it furnishes fruit and other edible products; it gives us privacy, naturally. On and on.

    But, no matter, to the city it is just kill it all, who cares. Turn this into Teheran. Too bad. And, if you have only two people in your house, but your neighbor has 8, they can squander all that extra water, while you, the prudent, environmentally conscious couple, have to sacrifice more and more and more.

    It’s a racket and I am sure came with the relatively recent sale of a once wonderful public utility, Valencia Water, to Castaic. Just like our public libraries, now run by appointees instead of librarians, have been privatized and look glitzy but are run terribly and organized ignorantly.


    Liked by 2 people

  3. While I am not schooled on the political issues with our drought in California, Northern Californians are reputed to have THEE worst water wasting habits ever. So the educational process about saving water is a good thing. I lived through the SoCal drought of the mid 70s and learned how to conserve water. After over 30 years of living in Nor Cal, I had gotten lazy about water use.

    Agriculture here uses 70% of the water. My concerns are for mountain communities which rely on wells that are drying up (where my dad lives). I can live with a brown lawn (one quick water and it turns green again), but not without my big leafy trees that protect the home from direct sunlight and heat. And yes, I collect my shower water and water what plants I have left. Whatever the outcome of this, the drought is still here and we all need to do our part, however small and insignificant it may feel. My water bill has gone down significantly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not arguing against conservation, I am just saying that lawn watering is re-circulation whereas industiral waste is flat out waste and shoukd be targeted accordingly. And yes, in the suburbs of Sac, where many homes don’t have meters, there is a lot of water use…but I wouldn’t exactly define use as waste. Also hear, if your lawn turns brown it dies. We have the rain shadow and are desert.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, our across the street neighbor has timed sprinkler systems and one of the heads broke off while they weren’t home. I knew it would shut off in 10 minutes so I didn’t care, but somebody called the water cops on them and they came and left (hopefully just) a warning in the front door. That made me mad because it wasn’t a big deal, and they could have just waited for the neighbors to get home (like we were planning to do) and told them about the broken head themselves.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I live in a watershed area where pretty much nothing dries out, and if it does, farmers lose money and commoners just bitch about the dry grass.
    My father lives in Vegas (about 25 years now) and has xeriscaping, and he does go on about people and their pools and how the desert wasn’t made to be green and people need to hop their happy asses over to Cali if they want soft green grass underfoot. He also complains that they keep building and the people keep coming and that only uses MORE water. Of course, my father is 60-something and retired and can spend all day talkin about how the world’s goin to Hell in a handbasket, so if you want, I can give you his number and y’all can chat about it all day 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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